The Icon of Remembrance for Perished Defenders of Ukraine studio was opened in Fedovets children’s camp in Lisopark (Ukrainian: “Wooden park”) in Kharkiv on August 4.
Head of the all-Ukrainian project Oleksandra Stakan together with her team arrived at the opening to share their experience in making bas-reliefs with Kharkiv volunteers.
The initiative’s organizer in Kharkiv is the head of the all-Ukrainian Association of Missing Persons and Perished Defenders of Ukraine Maryna Poliakova. Last year, while visiting Kyiv, she was taken by the idea to establish the same studio in Kharkiv. It required the volunteers almost a year to find proper premises. Yaryna Chagovets, the head of Sister of Mercy charitable foundation, assisted in this.
On August 4-5, an icon making masterclass trainers taught their secrets to Oleksandra Kharchenko and Lada Salbieva, who will work as creative masters in the new studio, as well as to some ex-servicemen. As a result, the first bas-relief was cast.
The creator of the icon is a well-known Italian sculptor of Ukrainian origin Elena Karamushka. She helped to organize the production of bas-reliefs in the town of Vasylkiv, the Kyiv region, in November 2015. The second studio will operate in Kharkiv. The volunteers are planning to open one more center for producing the icons in Dnipro.
According to Oleksandra Kharchenko, the volunteers are going to involve ex-ATO fighters as well as relatives of deceased soldiers in their work. People who lost their loved ones during the first years of war often feel abandoned and it seems to them that after a while their loss has been forgotten by others. It’s very important to them to get together around common causes and to meet other people who feel the same way while working on making icons.
Text: Natalia Ivanova